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8 May 2021

H is for Henbest

St Stephen's Church, Bramshaw Hants
The Henbest family lived in Bramshaw, a village which was half in Wiltshire (the larger part) and half in Hampshire until 1895.

They were a large family.  In 1699 a daughter, Christian was born to Robert Henbest, a husbandman and his wife Ann (nee Osmond), also from a large family in Bramshaw.  Christian Henbest's father Robert Snr died in Bramshaw in 1717, leaving generous legacies to all his children except the eldest son, Osmand (b. 1682-unknown), of whom the legacy was conditional on his return home to England.  Osmand had apparently married a widow Alice Wellstead (nee Redman) of Landford. The acreage in Landford which Robert Henbest Sr held by copyhold was left to second son Robert (1686-1745), despite both Osman and Robert being listed on the legal document.  So for some reason, there were bad relations between father and eldest son.

Henbest is one of those names which can easily be recorded variously.  It can be Henvest, Henvist, Henbist and even Inves. The latter appeared in the late 19th century in Southampton.

The village of Bramshaw is now in Hampshire, and includes the hamlet of Fritham where the Tucker family grew up from childhood (before 1710) until at least 1724 when Mary Tucker died. 

The year that she died leaving him about 15 pounds and the residue of her estate, her oldest son William Tucker (1697-1754) married Christian Henbest in St Leonards, Sherfield English.  It is unclear why they married there, although it is now on the A27, 4 miles north-west of Romsey where William Tucker was living at the time. The original church where they married was pulled down between 1858 and 1902 when two subsequent churches were built nearby but not on the site.  The church register, however, survives from 1745, with types copies of the register preserved prior to that.

Socially, the Tucker-Henbest marriage was a good match, the families being of similar standing.

Their children Christian (born before marriage in 1724, later life unknown), Mary (1826-), and William  (1728-1784) were all born at Bramshaw where Christian (Henbest)'s family still lived, probably for family support).  This Tucker family later moved to Hale a small district which is only two miles from Downton to the north-east, just off the A36 main road to Southampton. In 1746, William Tucker (1697) was described as a yeoman when he was charged with sorting out the estate of his late brother-in-law, Robert Henbest (1682-1745)'s widow Mary Henbest.  Robert Henbest had died intestate and as mentioned above, he held a copyhold lease in the Earldoms in Landford, Wiltshire.  His widow Mary had two young children to provide for.  It is unknown who Mary was.  Could she have been Mary Henbest nee Osborne who had married Robert Henbest's nephew Osmand Henbest (1712-1739)?

It is likely that they both had reasonable assets and material support since both came from families which leased farms, probably through copyhold, and had many farming implements. I need to do much more research about landholdings for this family, probably through manorial records.  I do know that his uncle John Tucker had a copyhold lease at Landford, Wiltshire very close to Bramshaw, and was able to leave his daughter Mary 500 pounds at his death in 1773.  And his first cousin John Tucker (1736-1812), Mary Tucker's brother was even more wealthy.

Hale is in Hampshire, so the Tucker/Henbest family had an attachment to places in both Wiltshire and Hampshire.  Their son William married Mary Goulding in Downton, Wiltshire in 1764, and thereafter, the family had a significant attachment to Downton, Landford and Hamptworth (a scattered community in-between Landford and Downton, all in Wiltshire.

Unfortunately, my ancestral Tucker descendants of these two William Tuckers were born at the wrong end of large families, so gradually became poorer and poorer and were listed as agricultural labourers in the 19th century.

2021 A-Z blogging challenge

 This year, I have once again tried the blogging challenge, and this year I managed to complete it.  I used the theme Moxons Down Under because together with my husband John Bruce Moxon, I co-ordinate the Australian membership for The Moxon Society.

I used another blog I manage, called Moxons Down Under.